Member News

Stibbe: EU competition policy agenda, full to the brim

The European Commission’s competition policy agenda stretches to 2024 and contains plans for many new or revised rules and guidelines. Recent publications, such as the New Industrial Strategy for Europe, shed more light on the Commission’s initiatives and their possible impact on parties from both inside and outside the European Union (EU). These new initiatives include temporary state aid rules to address the effects of the Corona crisis, consultations on the Block Exemption Regulations, and new measures in respect of (primarily) third-country companies.

While some of these ideas remain low on substance, it is clear that the Commission considers it necessary to renew the EU’s rulebook and toolbox for a fast-changing world. It is therefore important for interested parties to keep a close eye on these developments and to participate in public consultations if and when possible.  

Fair competition is a cornerstone of the European Union. The European Commission is constantly reviewing, revising and redesigning its competition policy and enforcement methods. Prior to the outbreak of Corona virus, the Commission’s policy agenda for State Aid and for Antitrust and Mergers was already mapped out until 2024. The New Industrial Strategy for Europe (New Industrial Strategy) had brought new focus and several Member States had also pressed the Commission to review the competition rules (while others stress the importance of the existing principles).The current Corona crisis has led to even more (and faster) policymaking, with as yet unknown effects on the other timelines.

In this article we have summarised the Commission’s most important plans and initiatives, and the relevant dates, grouped by policy area. In our August 2019 and March 2020 newsletters we already discussed the Commission’s (competition) objectives in the digital sector, which we will therefore only briefly touch on below.


Floris ten Have, Partner
Imran Hyder, Associate

Compliments of Stibbe – a member of the EACCNY.